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elmatus last won the day on August 2

elmatus had the most liked content!

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  1. JVR has never had this much talent surrounding him, especially not of the playmaker variety (Kessel isn't much for sharing). For my money, he needs to pot 25+ goals this year at a minimum. If he can do that with Bozak, it should be a breeze with the likes of Giroux, Voracek, Ghost, Provo, Couturier, and now Patrick. All of those guys are better with the puck than Bozak and rather more likely to spread the love around than Kessel. I'm not saying he will get 25+, but I am saying that's the minimum he should get. Any less than that, and I will begin to question the salary he's getting. As far as the bottom six goes, I'm honestly not sure it will be so much better than last year. My guess is we'll see a similar output from them really. Simmonds may return to form on the pp, but he's unlikely to put up his prime years numbers on the third line with no real 3C on the team of note (at the moment anyway). Add a decent 3C, and this conversation changes immediately of course. I do think we'll be a two line team though, which is better than just one. We were that last year too in my opinion. With Patrick getting better and JVR* in the mix, it should give us a pretty solid top six. If Sanheim can find his game (after xmas maybe?), he could help give us an extra boost from the back end as well. That wouldn't hurt.
  2. Simmonds for RNH seems too reasonable for Chiarelli. G/Coots/TK JVR/Patrick/Voracek Lindblom/Draisaitl/Puljujarvi Raffl/RNH/it really doesn’t matter
  3. I think this is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along. This guy must be a forum lurker.
  4. Very valid point. Our PK was awful last year, and that is definitely one area where our goalies really can't shoulder all the blame. It would be nice to see some changes to special teams coaching to help with this for sure. I can't say whether that would be enough of course. It's entirely possible we just don't have great PKers on the roster. Still, that would be the easiest potential fix. The team produced plenty of offence last season. Losing Schenn was a non-factor as far as I'm concerned. In fact, we produced more last year than we did with him in the line up. To add to that: With what Frost showed last season and what we've seen from Farabee so far, losing him is pretty easy to stomach at this point.
  5. Sure, of course that would be 20-25 less pts than what he had this past season, which is about what I mentioned above. Personally I think he'll hit 90. I think Voracek will slump though, mostly because he just isn't an 80+ pt guy. I expect he'll revert to his usual 60-70ish, probably the higher end of that given his talented line mates.
  6. From my perspective, last season was actually quite good for the team. We challenged for the division lead a handful of times, had some really stellar offensive output, and watched our top d-pair develop into one of the best in the league. That's all without mentioning Couturier's rise to become a solid two-way 1C and apparent team leader. Of course, barring some sort of upgrade, it seems a given that our goaltending will remain subpar for 2018-19. I know I personally believe this to be easily the biggest flaw we have. It's also the most likely reason why we wouldn't make much noise come playoff time. Our situation being what it is, we would essentially need one of the AHLers to morph into a solid NHL starter. We would then need Hakstol to not play Elliott for 9000 games straight this season. That said, there is another elephant I feel we haven't talked about nearly as much. Last season was great in no small part because our captain demolished much of the NHL. He may have been lost in the McDavid hype like so many others, and snubbed for no Hart consideration, but Giroux was the single biggest offensive driving force on the team by a significant margin. The problem is that his play last year could very easily turn out to be an anomaly. He had been producing less and less each season prior to last. It seems foolish to expect 100pts each year anyway, but there's always a chance he could revert to the ~60-70 range. While that may not seem like a ton, it really is quite significant. Giroux producing 30 less pts means others will also be producing far less (he's shuffling the puck to them most of the time). That combined with our glaring weakness in net would have made last season far more difficult to stomach. Elephant no.2 is rather more complex still. Voracek managed his best season ever with 85 pts last year. While he has had one 80 pt season before, he's been a 50-60 pt guy almost his entire career. The likelihood of getting 80 pts out of him again in 2018-19 seems quite small. To make matters worse, Voracek has never played at the sort of elite level we've seen from Giroux over the years. The eyeball test is generally not very favourable to him most games, and really his underlying statistics are no better. From my standpoint, he's the kind of player who can be opportunistic when playing with better players on his line. Those are good guys to have of course, but it makes him even less likely to maintain his production imo. Before anyone bites my head off, we should look at context and factors. Giroux was moved to the wing and given a very good complementary center in Couturier. That definitely seems to have helped. He's much freer as a winger to generate offence while Couts provides his impressive two-way play down the middle in his stead. When playing with TK especially, G seemed to always have something up his sleeve. There's no real reason to think that chemistry will just disappear. While 100+ should never be expected from anyone, hitting 90ish should be doable for a guy with his skill level under similar conditions. Meanwhile, Voracek stands to benefit in playing with Patrick and (possibly) JVR. Patrick in particular seems poised to become a very good playmaker in the NHL. He also seems to have Voracek stapled to his right side at this point, which could mean great things for both. JVR is an unknown quantity, but he has had solid success playing on a much weaker offensive team over his career to date. He isn't really a playmaker per se, but he gives Patrick more options which means Voracek doesn't have to be the go-to for him all the time. The optimist would suggest Voracek is surrounded by a very talented cast that should provide him with plenty of opportunities to excel again this year. That said, for the sake discussion why don't we assume we will see a dip in production from both of our 8 million dollar players. Let's say Giroux dips to 80 and Voracek to 60. That's a drop of about 50 pts in total between them compared to this past season. Hockey is more than just pts of course, but let's start by looking at straight production. Let's also assume we will need a similar offensive production to make the playoffs next season. The most likely candidates to help make up the difference imo: Patrick - 30 pts last season as a rookie (+15 pts) He's a lock for 2C (or should be, Hakstol), and late last season he began showing why he was touted as such a high level prospect in juniors. With a full summer of NHL-level conditioning, there's every reason to believe we'll see an even better Patrick in his 2nd year. How much better is the question. Let's say we get an additional 10-15 pts out of him. That seems fair and wouldn't be expecting the moon from the guy. Honestly, I could see him hit even higher than that, maybe as high as 60 pts. But I'd rather not get too excited. That's an elite level jump for a second year guy. If he notches 45 this year, I'd consider it a solid improvement, so let's go with that. TK - 47 pts last season (+10 pts) TK almost single-handedly makes me want to slash Hakstol's tires on any given night. Every time Hak deems him worthy to play with the big boys on line one, he responds with elite level hockey. I'm as big a Simmonds and Provo fan as anyone on here, but TK lifts me from my seat more than either of them. Give him the full season on the top line, Hak. Stop jerking him around. Yeah, he's young and brash and temperamental. He's also very very good. His only downside to me is that he's more a finisher than playmaker, which means he relies on Giroux doing a lot of the hard work. A step back from Giroux -- the premise of this post -- would likely have a bigger effect on TK than anyone else on the team. Given that, I wouldn't want to expect more than 55 pts from him. Provocop - 41 pts last season (+10 pts) Look. The only reason Provo didn't get 60 pts last year is because he's determined to become the best actual dman in the league. He's our Drew Doughty, and we should all be nothing but giddy at having him around. Bottom line, he could play blindfolded and see an uptick to 50 pts next year without breaking much of a sweat. Brightest spot of all? He'll be the main quarterback on an improved 2nd pp this year. That alone could net him 10 extra pts or better. Sanheim - 10 pts last season (+10 pts) He'll be with us from the start of the season, and he was very good in limited play last year. Assuming Hakstol doesn't waste precious development minutes keeping him stapled to the bench, he should be good for 20-25 pts or more. In fact, of everyone on this list, Sanheim could see the most improvement in production of all. Still, let's not ask too much of the guy. So if those four guys can improve as noted above, we will come fairly close to breaking even with a ~50 pt drop from Giroux and Voracek. JVR is the other obvious wildcard in all this. There's no telling what we'll get from him, but he should easily make up the remaining 5 pts in difference. Of course, everything above is based entirely on projection. Season predictions (for what they're worth): 1) Giroux will hit 90 pts. He's not done yet. Couts and TK will also be better. I see no reason why he wouldn't stay elite. 100 pts is a crap ton in today's NHL, but I think he'll stay elite. 2) Voracek will drop to 70 pts. For starters, I think JVR will prove to be more efficient as a finisher. I also think Patrick is going to blossom down the middle. While they will help Voracek on the one hand, it also means they simply won't need him to generate offence. That 70 pts accounts for both of those things. 3) TK ends the year with 35 goals. Let him loose Hakstol. 4) Patrick hits 60 pts. It's a stretch for sure, but I think he's good for it. It's going to happen eventually anyway. Why not 2018-19? 5) Provo finds a way to limit shots against to an average of 20 per game, which is good because: 6) Elliott ends the year with a 0.001 save percentage. Hakstol claims he's been rock solid for the team and the numbers don't paint a complete picture. 25 players end the year with over 50 goals, most of which come from games vs the Flyers.
  7. It's a reasonable proposition. The problem is the NHL is hardly reasonable when it comes to big contracts for 30 year old players like Simmonds. He's exactly the kind of guy a contending team picks up and pays too much for too long. Most players who have his level of success look for that last big contract as they enter the twilight of their career. There's a solid chance he will want to do the same. If not, then all the better for the team. He fits in perfectly with a team on the cusp of contention, which is exactly what I think this team is right now. Find us a goalie (and maybe a coach...), and we'll make some noise. The short of it is Simmonds holds all the cards right now. He can choose to stay in PHI if he wants, or he can leave and get paid more money elsewhere. It's pretty much that simple. We'll just have to wait and see which road he takes. As others have mentioned, I have a hard time thinking they'll trade him at the deadline. For that to happen, the Flyers would need to have a disastrous season, which seems pretty unlikely given the roster we have. Sure, they have to score 3-4 goals per game and suppress 95% of all shots against to compensate for the Elliott Effect, but they're actually pretty good at doing both of those things. I can't see Hex trading Simmonds at the deadline if we're playoff bound. It'll either be early or even pre-season, or not at all I think.
  8. Absolutely, someone will pay him. He is still a top six RW and top PP guy on many teams in this league, just not the current Flyers. If he wants to get paid seven million per for five years, he will. It's just not likely to be in Philly. We're all going to miss him of course, but that's how the game goes. I would love for Hex to find a way to keep him without breaking the bank, but frankly he's worth more than a third liner should get paid. It's not an easy situation. At the same time, if the vets can keep up a high level of play, this team is a goalie away from being a dark horse or better. Having the depth provided by a Simmonds on the third line and 2nd pp is a pretty great option to have. Who knows? It's messy anyway.
  9. Solid point. I think position does matter of course. We needed a 2LW, whereas we have two better-than-Simmonds options on the right at the moment. Also, despite having similar numbers, they don't play a similar game. As most of us are, I'm pretty curious to see how JVR pans out. It could obviously go either way at this point. You're right in that he's not exactly starting his prime years. At the same time, he will be slotting into a roster that has more talent available than he ever had in Toronto. He has similar numbers to Simmonds without any talented centres. He will have that now. He'll also have better dmen than he ever had in Toronto, and a stronger top six generally. Sure the current Toronto roster is maturing into a major force now, but that's very recent. He's basically leaving just when the team is finally shaping up into something. His most useful teammates over the years were Kessel, Bozak, and Kadri. That trio doesn't really scream elite to me. Kessel's got his thing, but that thing generally involves volume shooting which would not help JVR much. All to say that I'm not sold on him exactly. It's a lot of money for a guy his age. At the same time, I'm not writing him off either. It'll be an interesting year to watch.
  10. I have a feeling MacDud will be stapled to Sanheim this year. I doubt they'll risk it. As far as one of the others go, I honestly don't know. Are there special rules for calling up goalies when you've got an injury to replace? Given how common goalie injuries are, it would only make sense. If not, then maybe they just carry three on the official roster following a call up, or Neuvirth remains injured for a lot longer than originally anticipated, or maybe Neuvirth is the one who would get sent down and exposed to waivers. It's not like they'll have much of a choice anyway. He will need to be replaced when the time comes. They can't run around with no back up. I guess the semi good news is that all four are largely expendable temporary pieces. We're not looking at a big loss if someone happens to get plucked along the way.
  11. My guess is they'll play him to start the year and see where it goes. When he goes down, they'll just bring up Stolie or Lyon as they did last season. If Elliott gets worked into the ground again, the other AHL minder will be brought up.
  12. Can't hide from the big conversations forever.
  13. They likely signed Ward for the same reason we signed Elliott. I expect similar results. It should also be noted that Ward's average GP/season is double that of Neuvirth at 51GP. He's actually been quite healthy over his career and was an absolute workhorse for much of his time in Carolina. He has six seasons where he played over 60 games (74 was his highest!), and two others where he played over 50. He's only dipped below Neuvirth's average once in his 13 year career (17GP in 12-13). He's the anti-Neuvirth really.
  14. This is the issue though. He's never healthy for even half a season. He could be Patrick Roy circa immortal, and if he's not playing, literally any other goalie is better. Is he a serviceable back up in the NHL? Sure, if you have a plan C. He has about ~25 games in him in an average year (his average is exactly 25 at this point in his career). That's fine if you have a workhorse starter who can pull together 55-60GP, but very few teams have that. Even then you better hope that starter doesn't get railroaded by a Lucic forgetting how to put on the breaks. Chicago certainly doesn't have that in Ward. It would be a Bergevin-level mistake to make on their part, and I just can't see it happening. Besides, we're in no position to be trading away any goalies right now. Without some sort of upgrade in net, we're likely going to need them all. At this point, Neuvirth's biggest value is in giving AHL netminders a shot at the big show.
  15. I doubt Provo will get a bridge. Hexy will just sign him long term right out of his ELC. He should anyway; otherwise, he'll be paying millions more following a bridge.

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